Will reformat fix registry?

Discussion in 'Windows Vista Performance' started by Nurock, Aug 17, 2008.

  1. Nurock

    Nurock Guest

    I picked a malware problem, (Antivirus XP2008). I have a back-up of all of
    my data on an external hard drive that I made just before I got the virus. if
    I reformat my whole computer and reload Vista Home Premium, then reload my
    data from the external hard drive, should that fix all of my problems?
     
    Nurock, Aug 17, 2008
    #1
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  2. Nurock

    Malke Guest

    Yes.

    Malke
     
    Malke, Aug 17, 2008
    #2
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  3. Nurock

    Ken Blake Guest


    Yes. Reformatting the drive and reinstalling Windows will fix any software
    problems, since it wipes everything off the drive and starts over from
    scratch.

    But is it necessary or even a good idea to do this to get rid of the
    infection? Highly unlikely.
     
    Ken Blake, Aug 17, 2008
    #3
  4. Re-installing will solve your problem but, before you do anything so
    drastic, have you tried downloading and running Malwarebytes Anti malware?
    (www.malwarebytes.org) This should eradicate your antivirus xp2008 problem.

    --

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    John Barnett MVP
    Associate Expert
    Windows Desktop Experience

    Web: http://xphelpandsupport.mvps.org
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    The information in this mail/post is supplied "as is". No warranty of any
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    John Barnett MVP, Aug 17, 2008
    #4

  5. Formatting the hard drive to solve a virus or spyware problem is
    rather like using an axe to trim one's fingernails. Sure, it'll get the
    job done, but it's rather time-consuming, and almost always unnecessary.


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    Bruce Chambers

    Help us help you:
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    Bruce Chambers, Aug 17, 2008
    #5
  6. Nurock

    Nurock Guest

    I believe that Malwarebytes will probably get rid of Anitvirus XP2008, but
    will it fix the registry problems?
     
    Nurock, Aug 17, 2008
    #6
  7. Other than having the malware infestation, nothing to OP said (other
    than the inaccurate subject line) indicates that he/she does have any
    sort of registry problem.


    --

    Bruce Chambers

    Help us help you:
    http://www.catb.org/~esr/faqs/smart-questions.html

    http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx/kb/555375

    They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary
    safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. ~Benjamin Franklin

    Many people would rather die than think; in fact, most do. ~Bertrand Russell

    The philosopher has never killed any priests, whereas the priest has
    killed a great many philosophers.
    ~ Denis Diderot
     
    Bruce Chambers, Aug 17, 2008
    #7
  8. Nurock

    Victek Guest

    Can you describe the registry problems? Sometimes anti-malware software can
    fix them.
     
    Victek, Aug 17, 2008
    #8
  9. Nurock

    Victek Guest

    Well, there are different schools of thought about this. Some think that
    once you get infected the only way to be certain the system is clean is to
    format and reinstall. If the system is functional enough I agree it's worth
    making an effort to clean it first. By using a combination of anti-malware
    tools I can feel pretty confident the system is clean, but there may be
    lingering damage. For instance a common problem I've seen is a task manager
    with the top menu cutoff. This is probably an example of registry
    corruption. It may be possible to fix this kind of thing by editing the
    registry directly, but how? If would be great if someone put up a FAQ.
     
    Victek, Aug 17, 2008
    #9

  10. Yes, there are. In my view, the severity of the remedial action
    depends upon the mission critically of the system, the sensitivity of
    the data thereon (and whether or not that data has been backed up
    recently), the skill set of the computer user/repairer), and the
    type/thoroughness of the infection.


    And for few those situations where 100% certainty is essential (or
    desired), a format and re-installation of the OS and applications is the
    only choice. This, however, usually isn't the case for the home
    consumer dealing with a single well-known and relatively easily cleaned
    piece of malware, as is the OP's stated case. (Of course, from the
    paucity of the original post, we really can't assume that there's only
    one piece of malware, either. We have to trust the OP to be accurate.)


    No argument here.


    That doesn't sound at all like registry corruption, as it's a
    built-in (if poorly documented) option. It sounds like the Task Manager
    is being run in "Small Footprint Mode." Simply double-click anywhere
    along the top or side borders to return to a normal view.
    Alternatively, pressing <Ctrl>+<Tab> will allow you to cycle between the
    various displays, and <Alt>+<F4> will close it.

    Task Manager Menu Bar and Tabs Are Not Visible in Windows XP
    http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;314227


    --

    Bruce Chambers

    Help us help you:
    http://www.catb.org/~esr/faqs/smart-questions.html

    http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx/kb/555375

    They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary
    safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. ~Benjamin Franklin

    Many people would rather die than think; in fact, most do. ~Bertrand Russell

    The philosopher has never killed any priests, whereas the priest has
    killed a great many philosophers.
    ~ Denis Diderot
     
    Bruce Chambers, Aug 17, 2008
    #10
  11. You haven't indicated any registry problems in your original post. If you do
    have registry problems (we don't know what they are because you haven't
    said) then No Malwarebytes will not repair the registry. Unless you have a
    backup image of your whole drive then you will probably have to resort to
    re-installing.

    One question however is: Did you get the malware AntiVirus XP2008 before you
    backed up to your external drive or after. If it is before you backed up to
    your external drive, the malware could be lurking on the external drive
    ready to re-appear.

    --

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    John Barnett MVP
    Associate Expert
    Windows Desktop Experience

    Web: http://xphelpandsupport.mvps.org
    Web: http://vistasupport.mvps.org

    The information in this mail/post is supplied "as is". No warranty of any
    kind, either expressed or implied, is made in relation to the accuracy,
    reliability or content of this mail/post. The Author shall not be liable for
    any direct, indirect, incidental or consequential damages arising out of the
    use of, or inability to use, information or opinions expressed in this
    mail/post..
     
    John Barnett MVP, Aug 17, 2008
    #11
  12. While it might be a moral booster to re-install the operating system simply
    because of a virus/malware it certainly isn't a necessity. if your Anti
    Virus/Malware/spyware software is doing its job then the
    virus/malware/spyware should be automatically ether quarantine or removed
    from your 'main' system. What people forget is that Windows creates what I
    call a 'subsystem' in the form of Restore points and you can bet that the
    virus/malware/spyware has hid itself comfortably there just waiting for you
    to restore your system back. In this situation I find it more useful to let
    the anti virus/malware/spyware application do its job and clear the virus
    etc. As soon as this is done I immediately delete the system restore points.
    I can then create a new restore point from scratch thus preventing a further
    infection.

    --

    --
    John Barnett MVP
    Associate Expert
    Windows Desktop Experience

    Web: http://xphelpandsupport.mvps.org
    Web: http://vistasupport.mvps.org

    The information in this mail/post is supplied "as is". No warranty of any
    kind, either expressed or implied, is made in relation to the accuracy,
    reliability or content of this mail/post. The Author shall not be liable for
    any direct, indirect, incidental or consequential damages arising out of the
    use of, or inability to use, information or opinions expressed in this
    mail/post..
     
    John Barnett MVP, Aug 17, 2008
    #12
  13. Nurock

    usmc_nam_vet Guest

    Didn't take the time to read all the post. If this is a repeat I
    apoligize. I run a disc program to wipe my hard drive about every six
    months. Before you do run a scan for virus and anti-malware on your back
    up to insure it isn't effected. Make sure you have all your drivers
    also.
     
    usmc_nam_vet, Aug 17, 2008
    #13
  14. A lot of people think that doing that is useful. I'm one who doesn't.

    IF you think that's needed, a much better way to go about it is to
    install a second internal hard drive or an external USB hard drive and
    use an imaging program like Acronis True Image.

    Wipe the drive, reinstall Vista, install all of your programs, get all
    of the updates and then image the drive and save that image for when
    you next want to start "fresh".

    Instead of wiping the drive and then installing everything again, you
    spend maybe 45 minutes restoring your original setup from the image.

    Think of the time you will save.
     
    Paul Montgomery, Aug 17, 2008
    #14
  15. That scenario, Paul, is he exact one I use myself. In most cases, if a
    problem occurs, I can re-image my operating system back to my hard drive in
    less that 25 minutes. Just remember to keep the Acronis image as up to date
    as possible, especially, if like me, you are installing and uninstalling
    software on a regular basis.


    --

    --
    John Barnett MVP
    Associate Expert
    Windows Desktop Experience

    Web: http://xphelpandsupport.mvps.org
    Web: http://vistasupport.mvps.org

    The information in this mail/post is supplied "as is". No warranty of any
    kind, either expressed or implied, is made in relation to the accuracy,
    reliability or content of this mail/post. The Author shall not be liable for
    any direct, indirect, incidental or consequential damages arising out of the
    use of, or inability to use, information or opinions expressed in this
    mail/post..
     
    John Barnett MVP, Aug 17, 2008
    #15
  16. Nurock

    Wingwong Woo Guest

    JUst use Vista restore point to a time before you got the malware. Then get
    a tool that will find and remove the rogue files.
     
    Wingwong Woo, Aug 17, 2008
    #16
  17. Nurock

    Ken Blake Guest

    There are certainly different schools of thought, and those who state the
    above are technically correct. Nevertheless, depending *what* you are
    infected with, how *many* things you are infected with, how *long* you've
    been infected, and the mission-criticality of the system, in many cases,
    most people can remove an infection with a software tool, and accept the
    high-confidence (not certainty) it provides that the system is correctly
    cleaned.

    The one major situation in which I feel differently about this is when
    someone finds that his system has multiple infections. If there is lots of
    malware infections, the chances of successfully cleaning them all gets very
    small, and in such a circumstance, reinstallation is always best.

    No it's not. It's not any kind of corruption, it's not the result of
    malware, and it's not a problem at all. It's certain not necessary to
    reinstall to fix it. It's actually an option within Task Mangaer, called
    "small footprint mode." To switch back and forth from regular mode to small
    footprint mode, simply double-click on the task manager border.
     
    Ken Blake, Aug 18, 2008
    #17
  18. Nurock

    Phillips Guest

    I use some similar safety precautions - every 6 months or so wipe the OS HDD
    clean. Also, I have a 'salvaged' 40GB IDE HDD on which I have Acronis and
    images of major (ex. 'after Office install,' 'after SP1' etc) system
    changes/additions; of course, that includes the mandatory 'fresh install'
    image also saved on DVDs.
    After imaging, I just unplug the Acronis HDD so it stays in the case w/out
    being worn off, damaged etc.
    Documents, pictures whatever reside on another (500GB) HDD while other
    redundant backups are saved on a different HDD.
    Michael
     
    Phillips, Aug 18, 2008
    #18
  19. Nurock

    Victek Guest

    Thanks for the tip about task manager's small footprint mode. Next time I
    see that problem I'll try double-clicking the border. I've only seen this
    on infected systems, which makes me think that the malware is responsible
    (just another way of trying to protect itself).
     
    Victek, Aug 18, 2008
    #19
  20. Nurock

    Ken Blake Guest


    You're welcome. You don't have to wait to see small footprint mode. Turn it
    on yourself by double-clicking the border, then turn it off by
    double-clicking again.

    Almost invariably the way it gets turned on is that someone accidentally
    double-clicked it with realizing it.
     
    Ken Blake, Aug 18, 2008
    #20
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